While growing up, I developed several hobbies. Pursuing them to a certain extent helped me gain skills related to them. I found myself playing cricket with friends till I tried my hands at volleyball to know that with my long hands and good height, I could be a good volleyball player too. While playing these games, someone asked me why don't I try singing. With this suggestion, Mohammed Rafi within me gave was awakened. A neighbour explained to me how running was a meditative exercise which has a cult of its own. I thought, why not! But at the same time, another friend was encouraging me to try bodybuilding in the gym. Not enough yet. Since childhood, I had been painting intermittently, but writing has always been something that felt close to my heart.
It took me a long time to realise that I cannot do anything and everything, even if I am good at it or I have a hidden talent for some of them. The day I realised it, I left going after many of the above (incompletely) listed items. Deciding to focus on one or two of the hobbies and skills at a time, I focused on writing and occasional painting. Never pursued music, and never followed any passion for singing - it was best for me to not encourage the sleeping singing giant within me, since there are already enough singers around, and I would have in any case not made a better one. In fact, it has saved many people from being victims of listening to enthusiastic singers who bore us for hours. I also happily said goodbye to cricket and volleyball, without looking for any notable success in them. Sports remained only fun activity afterwards.
I have always believed that without an active and passionate hobby, our life becomes dryly dull. Developing a strong hobby is essential for enthusiasm in life. It works as your private paradise and gives you something to look forward to. Writing remained the sole pursuit, for fun, for introspection and as a meditative activity. Iran's posting gave me a chance to explore the art of oil painting a bit more, and it has not been completely discarded since then. I pick up brush and canvas very occasionally but with interest. Having left all the other activities that people call your skill or hobby, I am able to give more time to writing, hence producing four-five pieces of English and Gujarati articles/posts every week. Personally, they are very useful to me as introspective activities and I identify myself with them meaningfully, rather than dividing my personal identity into fragments. I am writing this as an introspection and with immense self-satisfaction for taking this decision to do less and get more out of it. Personally, I have experienced that you can do more only when you do less. And, I have always kept in mind, these are my hobbies - there is no race with anyone, no competition with anyone. May be you can do more too by doing a bit less.